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Discussion Starter #1
My son has an '03 Focus ZTW that really doesn't like the snow! He says it won't steer worth a tinker's damn. The ZTW came fully loaded with ABS/TCS and 16 inch wheels.

I drove it yesterday and the 205/55R 16" factory alloy wheel/tire combo doesn't give it much traction, but if you take your time and look where you want the vehicle to go, not where it's headed it is fairly stable.

Decided to put snow tires on it. Local Pick and Pull says that the 15" wheels from the '05 thru '07 Focus will fit it without fender opening interference or suspension issues.

Goodyear Nordics (up here in Canada) are the highest rated tires in a 15" size.

Tire Configurator Recommends: 195/60R15 with a load rating of 88 and a speed range of Q

Questions:

1. Is the bolt pattern/spacing for the '03 Focus the same for the '05 thru '07?

2. Any offset issues that might cause the tires to rub on the fender opening or suspension?

3. Will this change in wheel size affect the ABS/TCS or Speedo?
 

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#1 yes, all 2000-2011 Focus have the 4x108/4.25" bolt pattern (the only issue would be 2005-2011 need 15" minimum to fit over the front brakes 00-04 could use 14" unless one had the SVT brake setup which needs 16"+ but the ZTS/ZTW rear disk brakes will fit fine under 15" rims)

#2 shouldn't especially with narrower tires

#3 No to ABS/TCS, Yes to speedometer/odometer, 195/60R15 tires are around .7" smaller in diameter than the 205/55R16 tires so that would make the speedometer read about 2.7% fast (shows 60MPH but actually going 58MPH / shows 100KPH but actually going 97KPH) not an overly huge amount but if you need accurate mileage it is something to take into account. 195/65R15 would be almost spot on diameter wise however there may be fewer selections going that route. Another option would be to get winter tires in the stock tire size and either use the same rims on the car and swap the tires over or get another set of 16" rims to use with the winter tires.

On my previous vehicle the 98 Escort wagon the snow tires I ran were smaller compared to the stock size 185/60R14 compared to the stock size of 185/65R14 (mainly as they were for the 93 Escort i was driving before that and why buy new when the old works :) ) so that threw off the mileage a bit especially for longer trips at higher speeds, speedometer read about 3% too fast if i recall.
 
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I looked up the stock 16" tire size for that generation yesterday, should be 205/50-16 by what I found. (not the 205/55-16) Looks like you ended up with larger than stock at some point, so going back to a stock size would be OK.

195/60-15 is a stock size (came on my '04) and should be fine (just got a set of them for Winter).

I'll Move this to the Wheels & tires section.
 

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With the information sailor gave, if 205/50R16 is indeed the stock tire size then the 195/60R15 tires would be right about dead on, as close as it can get at least. Only a .6% difference so at a speedometer reading of 60MPH would actually be going 60.4MPH (100KPH reading actual speed 100.6KPH) so not enough to worry about.

For checking tire size differences Miata.net has a handy one here Miata.net Tire Size Calculator

I found the tire size on my own car got "upgraded" to 195/65R15 from the 195/60R15 size. I had to replace the tires anyways right after I got the car so that wasn't too big of deal (probably also why the speedometer needle was a bit off, as had to adjust it down a bit as with the correct tires it was reading about 5-8MPH to fast (basically speedometer would say 30MPH actual vehicle speed was 22-25MPH), yikes!! )
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I looked up the stock 16" tire size for that generation yesterday, should be 205/50-16 by what I found. (not the 205/55-16) Looks like you ended up with larger than stock at some point, so going back to a stock size would be OK.

195/60-15 is a stock size (came on my '04) and should be fine (just got a set of them for Winter).

I'll Move this to the Wheels & tires section.
Sailor,

Thanks for the reply and for moving this, didn't actually know there was a tire section but found it after I posted.

Peter, thanks for the replies. I really appreciate your comeback. Was a little concerned that the 15's wouldn't clear the front calipers, or that coming off an '05 to '07 there might have been a bit of offset in the center section that would make the tires rub on the fender openings. My daugther's '03 has 14" wheels that fit just fine, so I figured it would be fine for the 15's on the ZTW.

The tires the wagon came with are becoming an odd-ball size apparently. Not too many manufacturers left making them it seems. Our Import has 13" tires and I hear they are getting hard to find too.

The ZTW has two MotoMaster (Canadian Tire) brand 205/55R16's on the rear that are not original equipment. ZTW had a worn right tie-rod and wore the tires out. The used car dealer had trouble finding two new front tires but managed to get two 205/55R16's from a local tire dealer selling Sailuns made in China. The wider tread gives the Focus a mean look, and they handle well on wet roads, but not in the snow.
 
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